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Can We Go One More? Hell Yeah, We Can Go One More!

Columbia comes in to make it 20 and six on the day. The Tigers are a little concerned with some of the changes going on in their neck of the woods — they have concerns that the South Walton Border Brawl will continue to be staged, and there may be changes at Suwannee that might make the Billy Saylor meet go by the boards. These would both be losses for the sport if they were to occur. But the Tigers have a very solid schedule nonetheless. I’m hopeful that Columbia will not go through the changes in personnel of a year ago. There’s a lot of good talent out there that deserves to be showcased. They played walkup music for a home dual — the possibility of a repeat of that is making me mull over a road trip as part of my day December 19. So that’s 20. Unless somebody else wants to chime in? Anyone? Bueller? I can go one more…

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Interlachen Makes It 19

And that looks like that will be it for a very busy day on the site. We have 19 teams in the fold with Interlachen wrapping up the day. The Rams are diversifying their schedule much more than a year ago, going to Citrus and Belleview, plus coming to an early IBT to kick off the season here in town. I think it’s a nice schedule for the experienced kids that Interlachen will have back. Plus they are going to Palm Coast over Christmas. That will definitely be a good experience for them.

So, OK, I think that’s it. I LIKE days like today! Let’s get five more schedules tomorrow!

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Bolles Makes It 18!

The Bulldogs become our 18th high school team added to the 2015-16 master schedule, but there’s one important first that Bolles can claim. It’s the first middle-school team to have its schedule added to the Youth page, and what I’m hoping for during the course of this year is to have middle school results that can be found right along with high school ones. So, middle school coaches — it’s YOUR move! Email me at nefloridamatmen@gmail.com in order to send me your schedules. I know there are no programs in Duval County, but I’m guessing that all or most of the private schools have a middle-school program. Most of Clay. Maybe some St Johns & Flagler. Maybe some Nassau County. I know or would guess that Richardson Middle in Lake City might have a team, and Suwannee perhaps as well. 

As for the Bulldogs’ HS schedule, it’s a heavy dose of locals, seeing a lot of 2A and 3A competition along the way. The one out-of-town event takes Bolles to the Palm Coast Rotary in late January. It’s a good schedule.

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Baker County In The Fold!

With a full off-season under Coach Hank Farmer, the Wildcats enter the season on the right note. I’ve posted what Baker County has thus far; all of Baker’s tournaments are of the dual variety this year, with Stingray Duals in December and Parker Duals in late January. Good fit for them to be in the Billy Saylor in early January. I do think the schedule has more diversity to it, and that should help. This is the second of four posts scheduled for tonight. After a dinner break, we’ll knock out the next two — the first one of those will take a little longer to get all the updates in.

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Sandalwood Schedule Is In!

We’ve got four posts coming your way tonight. First one up is Sandalwood, which becomes our 16th school in the fold. That’s one-third of the way through the Matmen coverage area! The Saints are going to test their mettle early, going deep into South Florida for a two-day dual tournament I know very little about, the H-Town Throwdown, which ought to give Sandalwood a good test. Editor’s Note: The Saints just booked a spot in the Lake Mary Tournament of Champions on January 8/9, and will come out of that invite looking to defend their title as Gateway Conference champions. Sandalwood has done a very good job of scheduling very tough competition, and it certainly helped the Saints once states rolled around last year.

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Mandarin Schedule Is In!

The Mustangs are the first of five schedules received today thus far, so they get the first post of the day. Mandarin has a heavy local flavor, with most of their presence in weekend events. Most of the dates in which they participated a year ago are back on the calendar, with three dates at Terry Parker, duals at Fletcher and Atlantic Coast, and going out to Clay and (tentatively) Raines. That’s 15 that are in, four more that will be in (sometime) today, and more coming!

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New Page Added

We’re working on an update page. It lists all 48 schools (I know Andrew Jackson is not going to have a program, and it’s still unclear if Duval Charter will have one), last year’s coach, whether that coach is returning, what the situation is with that team’s schedule and, eventually, whether I’ve received a tentative starting lineup upon which I could, theoretically, build preseason rankings.

I should comment on the difference between “No schedule in hand” and “No complete schedule in hand.” The first means there is no schedule submitted. The second is a bit more complex. There’s no schedule in hand, but that school is hosting an event that other schools, which have committed to said event, have reported to me.

As for rankings, of course, they mean very little even in-season and perhaps less than that preseason, but it’s a way to generate interest in the sport and in what other kids in other parts of the coverage area are up to.

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Preseason Updates

New event at Palm Coast is added to the calendar. Friday’s seemed to have been a pretty big deal. Down in S Florida, they are already pretty much in an in-season frame of mind. Are you?? These preseason events are pretty big measuring sticks on how much work you’ve done this off-season. If you’re finding yourself deficient, it’s more than worth your while to check out the October 10 BTS clinic or RCWF event. I will be at all three events on the 10th. Going to be driving all over the coastal part of the coverage area that day.

No schedules over the weekend. With the exception of three coaches, with whom I had contact late last week or today, I emailed every coach for every school where I do not have a schedule yet. There are already five back with everything posted that they have up to today. So there’ll be (at least) five posts coming out today on those schools.

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To Rank Or Not To Rank?

Preseason rankings…

Yes? No? Maybe? Your comments are appreciated.

Keep in mind, I would only do preseason rankings under the following conditions:

  • Coaches were to submit a projected starting lineup by or around November 15 and it would have to be a solid majority of the 49 coaches in the coverage area (30-35, if not more). NOTE 9/25 — I have already received my first projected lineup.
  • Preseason rankings would be based mostly upon prior in-season performance (based on MY records, not on those I’ve seen generated). Off-season would be a tiebreaker or a plus consideration, but not primary.

Given that, are they feasible?

We’re sitting on 14 schedules this far. On Friday, I’ll be emailing each coach I haven’t heard from yet, just confirming that they’re returning and attempting to get an ETA on their schedule.

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Sampsel tests mettle against East’s beasts

Fleming Island senior Xaiver Sampsel will be competing at the Journeyman Classic all-star preseason tournament in Schenectady, New York, on October 4, according to his father, Shawn.

Sampsel will be traveling with a delegation from Lake Highland Prep to compete in the event, hosted by Union College. It has a two-day component.

On Saturday, October 3rd, there’s an “overflow” tournament, named the “Over-Flo Challenge” where wrestlers can wrestle their way into Sunday’s event. Sampsel, who’ll compete at 135 pounds for this event, is automatically drawn into the Sunday event, and will round-robin match up against other like qualifiers. Credentials are submitted to the tournament committee, which makes selections on who competes on just Sunday and who has to wrestle on Saturday.

The Journeyman tournament is one of the stronger pre-season events on the East Coast. Last year, 47 nationally-ranked wrestlers were entered into the field.

At this point, I do not know if any other area wrestlers are competing in the event, but I’ll be happy to update this if any other NEFLM kids have qualified for Sunday’s event or are wrestling their way in on Saturday.